Webtool design factors and evaluation within a youth healthcare setting

Helden, Ewoud L. van (2010) Webtool design factors and evaluation within a youth healthcare setting.

Abstract:There is a continuous need for improvement within healthcare caused by numerous factors and it is generally accepted that information technology (IT) plays an important role in these improvements. The Quality of Life Department of the Dutch Organization for Applied- Scientific Research (TNO) was doing research on several topics to improve healthcare. One of their projects focused on the screening of children for development disorder within youth healthcare. The use of the screening would be done via a webtool, a website which required data about the child and returned the risk of developmental disorder. Such a webtool needed to be developed. This study consists of two research phases. Research Phase I searched for factors impacting the usefulness and ease of use of the webtool. Perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use are two variables from the Technology Acceptance Model [Davis 1989] which contribute to actual use of IT. Determining which factors would have impact on these two variables would help the development of the webtool. Through the use Multidimensional Unfolding the preferences of the youth healthcare physicians (YHP) was made clear. Three factors were studied, namely Functionality, Interface and Autonomy. From these three was Autonomy the most important factor. The YHPs required freedom and overview to work effectively. Extra functionality and a well designed interface also contributed to the usefulness of the webtool. These findings were implemented in the final webtool. In Research Phase II the YHPs from the TNO project were evaluated after the project was completed. The evaluation was based on the process of the YHP and the objects of the webtool. The webtool was easy to use. However the extra functionality from phase I was not used. This inconsistency shows the importance of evaluation and continuous improvement of IT after the implementation. The webtool and screening did not offer the intended usefulness in helping the YHPs asses the development better. They did not feel the webtool led to different decisions or more referrals. Most of the times the development was normal and the webtool confirmed this, adding no new insights. On the rare occasion the webtool did give a different assessment, the YHP deemed the webtool being wrong and rejected the outcome. This could have been caused by the YHPs misunderstanding the significance and meaning of the screening. However the visual aspects of the webtool assisted in the communication towards the parents. The outcome of the screening could help convince the parent to take action or comfort the parent that the development was going well. Working with the webtool also made the YHPs more conscious of their own work and decision process. The importance of the three factors and the evaluation outcomes are useful for further webtool development and digital projects within youth healthcare. YHPs require operational freedom but IT could help them to make decisions more conscious. The communication towards the parents can also be improved by visualizing test outcomes. But it remains important that the user understands the outcome of the IT before it can be truly useful.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Industrial Engineering and Management MSc (60029)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/60721
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